X Movie Reaction – The Sensitive A24 Slasher We All Deserve
Horror fans have been back and forth when it comes to what a great genre flick looks like. Some are more interested in elevated horror, going for cinematic tension over good old spookiness. Others swear by the guts and gore, and won’t take anything less. Few films have managed to perfect the middle ground: A film that’s scary, but that’s also a damn good piece of cinema. One has recently found that perfect collision, making the cut for a horror movie that’s both horrifying and stunning. Here’s our A24 X movie reaction, from the screams to the scares and, with this one, the sex.
This X movie reaction is spoiler-free. Don’t worry, we won’t ruin the tension for you.
X Movie Reaction – A Short Name For A Long Thrill
X is the latest A24 horror film. If that company catches your eye, then odds are that you’re a fan of horror films like Hereditary and Midsommar. This one isn’t quite as supernatural or slow-building, but it’ll catch your eye with similar aesthetics and cinematography.
The story opens like so many of them do. The police are at the scene of a crime, and it promises to be a deadly one. 24 hours before, Mia Goth’s Maxine Minx joins her boyfriend and colleagues on a road trip to a rundown Texas farm in a sunny 1979. Their mission is to change the world of adult films forever.
There’s Maxine, Bobby-Lynne (Brittany Snow), and Jackson Hole (Scott Mescudi, a.k.a. Kid Cudi) starring as pornographic film stars. Then there’s the producer, Wayne Gilroy (Martin Henderson), director RJ (Owen Campbell), and Lorraine (Jenna Ortega, our new favorite scream queen), who is mostly just along for the ride.
The only problem is that society isn’t quite as accepting of such blatant sex appeal as it is now. Televangelists in the background provide almost as much atmospheric audio throughout the film as intimate noises do, and the owners of the farm don’t seem too eager about their presence. Would they be mad enough to kill?
Image via A24.
Where The Horror Happens In This Almost XXX Film
The premise of the film might sound like we’re going to get older folks embarking on an angry sex-hating murder spree. Fortunately, it’s not as simple as that. While Maxine and co are proud of their bodies and what they can do, as well as desperate to enjoy them while they’re young, farm owners Howard and Pearl are almost too old to enjoy theirs.
Pearl, particularly devastated by her loss of youth and sexuality, is heartbroken over her dying body. She quickly makes it clear that she’s fond of Maxine, but whether it’s jealousy or lust isn’t quite clear. Whatever it is, she isn’t against hurting a few of the lucky ones to find out.
The film balances a genuinely intricate tale of progressive views on sexuality, ageist takes on beauty, and good old fashion ax-yielding to make up its slasher second-half. The best of it is built by its rapidly changing scenes. Some show both parallels between the older couple and the filmmakers, proving that they aren’t as different as they might think. Others switch between scenes of terror and simplicity, building the scare by enforcing the fact that we never know what is going to come on the screen next. The jumpscares are there, but they’re more effective thanks to the stylistic choices.
Image via A24.
Why The A24 Movie X Works So Darn Well And Gets Such A Good Reaction
Let’s be honest. X could have been really bad. Sure, it has an impressive cast. After all, Mia Goth has proven that her incredible last time won’t go to waste time and time again, with horror movies like A Cure for Wellness and Suspiria. And she’s certainly a highlight of the film, playing both Maxine and the older woman, Pearl. But mixing sexy with scary can be a recipe for disaster, and can lead to a campy popcorn film at best.
Director Ti West (In a Valley of Violence, The Sacrament) puts the plot in competent hands. His fondness for horror helps ensure that the tropes aren’t too overplayed and that nothing feels cheap (even the fake porno they’re shooting.) Even the first shot, which opens with a ratio change fakeout, gives us confidence in what is to come.
X is also surprisingly uplifting in its own ways. It leaves behind a statement of doing what you want, no matter what society thinks of it.
The only flaw in our X movie reaction might be its lack of development for its main characters, as few of them have real reasons to make you root for their survival. Though, Brittany Snow and Jenna Ortega are just so good on camera that it’s almost a good enough reason to pray that they make it to the end.
X Is In Theaters Now.
Have you watched the new A24 movie X yet? Let us know your thoughts, and if you agree with our X movie reaction in the comments below. If you haven’t gotten a chance, then don’t wait too long. This is one you’ll want to see. Just be sure to sleep with the light on afterward.
Featured image via A24.
Meghan Hale is the kind of movie lover that has a "must watch" that is a mile long... and growing. When she isn't talking about the latest film and television news she is writing one of her many in-process novels, screaming film trivia at anybody who will listen, and working as a mental health care professional. Follow her on Twitter @meghanrhale for some fun theories and live reactions to all things entertainment.